Miami Is the Tenth Most Congested City on Earth

Miami Is the Tenth Most Congested City on Earth

What could you do with 64 extra hours of time this year? You could marathon every Star Wars movie ever produced three times in a row. You could road-trip from Miami to San Francisco with 20 extra hours to nap along the way. Hell, you could ride your bike all the way to Atlanta if you're into that kind of thing.

But you live in Miami, so instead you'll spend those 64 hours sitting on the Dolphin Expressway or the MacArthur Causeway staring at exhaust fumes, trying to move your tiny visor so your arm stops getting cooked by the setting sun and wondering where your life has gone so terribly awry.

Miamians spend an average of 64 hours every year slogging through peak-hour traffic, according to a new study from INRIX, a global analysis firm that releases annual studies about the world's most traffic-clogged metropolises. And, yes, that's a torturous amount of time to spend in congestion.

INRIX's newly released Global Traffic Scorecard — which draws its figures from "300 million different sources covering more than 5 million miles of road, combined with our other data sources including global parking, fuel, points of interest, public transport, and road weather information" — shows Miami is the fifth most congested metro area in the nation and tenth in the world.

In the United States, only Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Atlanta residents spend more time per year in jams, the study shows. (Angelenos continue to live in a special kind of vehicular hell, with locals trapped in their cars an average of 102 hours every year.)

Globally, Miami came in tenth. Moscow, São Paolo, Bogotá, London, and Paris top the Magic City for traffic woes.
Miami's elected leaders obviously know congestion is an enormous problem here that will only grow worse, but they've exhibited a mind-numbing resistance to the kind of urban-planning fixes that most experts agree the city needs: namely, better public transit in the densest areas.

Yet in his State of the County speech last week, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez turned his priority away from expanding Metrorail and instead resurrected an old plan to build more roads farther west, with a proposal to extend the Dolphin Expressway south into Kendall. (Gimenez does want more high-tech buses, but he is against Metrorail expansion.)

In the meantime, Miami continues to add new residents and more cars, so it's hard to see the city doing anything but climbing up this list. Get some good audiobooks, people. You're not going anywhere.
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink